Some of my best sewing tips

When you first start sewing everything can look really messy even if you do exactly what you think you're supposed to do. It took me a long time to figure out why my mom kept nagging at me to use pins and iron things. I was thinking that's dumb,you take the fabric and sew it,what's so hard about that?! I guess it doesn't work that way! Sewing takes a lot of patience.If you don't have it then you will get it. One of the most important things is to measure everything exact.This is what I dislike the most about sewing. This is what I use,I have a big one and a smaller rectangle one.
I lay the fabric on the big piece and if the corners of the fabric don't line up exactly with the corners of the mat then I take the smaller piece,put it on top,and cut it straight.Then I measure out what I need and cut that too. I highly suggest a rotary cutter but you HAVE to have a great pair of scissors for sewing. JUST for sewing,don't let the kids use it to cut paper!If you're making more than one of the same thing then what I do is make a tempelate out of cardboard. Then I just put it on top of the fabric,use a fabric pencil to draw around it,then cut with scissors. I save my tempelates and write on there what I used them for for future reference.
My next sewing tip,wash your fabric before you use it. That way it won't shrink when you're done making something for someone and they pop it in the washer. Next,IRON BEFORE YOU CUT*you may as well put an ironing board in your sewing area*. When you fold over a piece of fabric that you plan on sewing,iron that down as well. This is called pressing your seam.But don't iron like you would a shirt.Just put the iron down,lift it,and keep repeating that until you've done the whole thing.This is a very important step and if you don't do it it can ruin your whole project. Before you sew put LOTS of pins along the seam to hold it down. If you're sewing more than one piece of fabric at the same time then put them ALL around the edges of whatever you're sewing. This helps keep things straight. The next thing I suggest buying is a pin cushion. They're actually super easy to make and this could be one of your first projects. Do a google search for "pincushion tutorials",you will find lots. My fave are the ones that you put in cute little cups. You don't even have to sew,just use hot glue. I don't suggest the ones you put on your wrist. Too easy to stab yourself!! When buying pins I'd stick with the ones with the large balls at the end so you don't miss them when you sew and damage your machine. NEXT TIP,go slow. Don't get in a rush. There's a small ruler type thing(I can't for the life of me remember what it's called) by your sewing needle. Just try to keep your seam lined up with it. Something it took me awhile to figure out...follow the seam allowances on the tutorial you're doing. If you're doing something you made up,just make sure you stick with the same one all the way around your project. Your seam allowance is the amount you fold down your fabric that you iron and sew. And make sure the distance between the thread and the edge of your fabric is the same. That's what the ruler thingy is for.
NEXT TIP,when you're done sewing cut as much fabric off the edge as you can without getting too close to the thread, then you turn your material right side out,get a butter knife and push on your seams. That will keep your seams from looking like a butt! Atleast that's how I see it.Don't rip the seams,once you do it you will understand what I'm talking about. THEN IRON AGAIN to make it look more professional and clean. Don't get discouraged,if you mess up your seam then just get a seam ripper and rip out the thread. Don't turn into the Hulk and try and rip with your hands b/c you will probably rip the fabric! You're stronger than you think! These are just my beginner tips,I don't think I left anything out. Here's a small rundown.....
1.Wash/dry your fabric and iron it before you cut.
2. Measure measure measure measure....then cut!
3.Obey the seam allowance all the way around.
4.Press your seams with your iron,but don't actually iron,just press and lift.
5.Use lots of pins and take your time,make sure to keep the same distance between the thread and fabric edge.
6.cut off excess material from your seam before you turn it right side out.
7.Push out your seam with a butter knife or something similar.
9.Pat yourself on the back when you're done,even if it's not perfect,you did your best and next time you will do better!

Things to get:
1.great pair of scissors and a rotary cutter.
2.2 quilter mats,small and large.
3.lots of pins.
4. Lots of thread,lots and lots and lots!

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